6 September 2012
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Statistics and Mapping Section
- Tables and charts are presented for a broad range of social, demographic and economic indicators across all Australian states and territories, and compared to Australian averages.
- Each table contains data for the last five years, while each chart plots data for the financial year 2010–11.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Gross State Product
1.3 Labour force
1.4 Long-term unemployed
1.5 Youth unemployment
1.6 Industrial disputes
Wages and prices
2.1 Average weekly ordinary time earnings
2.2 Real average weekly ordinary time earnings
2.3 Male total average weekly earnings
2.4 Real male total average weekly earnings
2.5 Wage price index
2.6 Consumer price index
3.1 Gross state product
3.2 Gross state product per capita
3.3 Labour productivity
4.1 Value of retail sales
4.2 Motor vehicle sales
4.3 Dwelling approvals
4.4 Business investment
5.1 Lending for owner occupied housing
5.2 Home loan size
5.3 Home loan repayments
5.4 House sales price
5.5 House rents
Public sector finances
6.1 State government net debt
6.2 State government fiscal balance
6.3 State government taxation revenue
7.1 International merchandise exports
8.2 Dependency ratio
8.4 Apparent school retention rates
8.5 General practice bulk billing
8.6 Private health insurance
The purpose of this paper is to present a range of economic and other statistical indicators for the states and territories of Australia. To facilitate comparisons, indicators are presented in relative terms such as growth rates, percentages, or proportions of Gross State Product, so that comparisons can be made using equivalent measures.
This publication is the fifth of this type produced by the Parliamentary Library and it is expected that it will continue to be updated and published annually. This publication is a companion to the Monthly statistical bulletin which contains Australia-wide data only, but on a more frequent and up to date basis.
A glossary of social, demographic and economic terms used in the tables is provided at the end of this publication.
The year ending June 2011 was the third year after the onset of global economic decline in activity, precipitated by a financial crisis which began in the United States and spread to most other parts of the world.
In 2010–11 the Australian economy was subject to a number of strong, often countervailing, economic forces: strong demand for commodities, rising global inflation, global financial market instability, consumer caution, slower population growth and slow productivity growth. The economy was also affected by severe weather events.
Quarterly real gross domestic product (GDP) in Australia grew in all quarters in 2010–11 except in the March quarter 2011. Despite this seemingly good performance overall, there was considerable divergence in performance across the jurisdictions.
The unemployment rate was highest in Tasmania (5.6 per cent) Queensland and South Australia (both 5.5 per cent). It was lowest in the Northern Territory (2.9 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (3.5 per cent) and Western Australia (4.4 per cent), in 2010–11.
The increase in CPI in 2010–11 ranged from 2.7 per cent (Darwin and Canberra) to 3.3 per cent (Melbourne and Brisbane), compared to the Australian average in 2010–11 of 3.1 per cent.
Gross State Product (GSP) per capita ranged from $47,000 in Tasmania, to $81,000 in the Australian Capital Territory, compared to the Australian Gross Domestic Product per capita in 2010–11 of $59,000.
In terms of annual growth, GSP grew the most in Western Australia (3.5 per cent), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (2.8 per cent) and South Australia (2.4 per cent). Queensland recorded the lowest growth at just 0.2 per cent and was the only state or territory to see an annual decrease in GSP per capita.
While all jurisdictions reported an increase in GSP and in aggregate yearly hours worked, only in the Australian Capital Territory was the increase in GSP greater than the increase in hours worked, resulting in the Australian Capital Territory being the only jurisdiction to report an increase in Labour Productivity in 2010–11. In absolute terms, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have maintained the highest levels of labour productivity.
Retail sales increased in all states except Tasmania in 2010–11, ranging from a 0.6 per cent increase in South Australia up to a 4.6 per cent increase in Victoria. Tasmania reported a 2.4 per cent drop, the only state to show an annual decrease in retail sales in the last five years.
Australia wide the number of Bankruptcies and Administrative Orders fell by 16.0 per cent in 2010–11. The smallest drop was in Tasmania at 9.3 per cent and the highest in the Northern Territory at 28.2 per cent.
The percentage of a median family income required to pay off an average home loan ranged from 18.7 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory up to 38.3 per cent in New South Wales, compared to the Australian average in 2010–11 of 34.7 per cent.
Australia’s population grew 1.4 per cent in 2010-11. Growth was highest in Western Australia (2.4 per cent), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (1.4 per cent). Low growth occurred in the Northern Territory (0.4 per cent), Tasmania (0.6 per cent) and South Australia (0.8 per cent).
The Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory continue to perform significantly better than other jurisdictions on a number of indicators. The territories have quite small populations and are at the extremes in terms of population density. The Australian Capital Territory holds 1.6 per cent of Australia’s population and is almost exclusively urban with a population density of 151 persons per square kilometre – nearly 17 times that of New South Wales. The Northern Territory holds only 1.0 per cent of Australia’s population and has a density of 0.2 persons per square kilometre.
The Australian Capital Territory is characterised by high average earnings, high participation in the workforce and high labour productivity. It was the only jurisdiction to report an increase in Labour Productivity in 2010–11. The Australian Capital Territory has shown considerably higher annual growth in the approval of new dwellings since 2008–09. Its government raises the highest tax revenue per capita (noting that the territory’s government fulfils the dual roles of state and local government) and it has a high GSP per capita. Home loans have the highest rate of affordability, albeit due to high family incomes. The Australian Capital Territory has the highest school retention rates of any state or territory.
The Northern Territory reported low rates for unemployment and youth unemployment in 2010–11. While absolute levels of wages remain close to average they showed high growth over the 12 months. Business investment in the Northern Territory has dropped considerably in recent years. House sale prices and house rents are high in Darwin, yet home affordability is the second best of any state or territory. The Northern Territory has the highest level of government debt and the worst government fiscal balance. The Northern Territory has the lowest school retention rates of any state or territory.
Of the States, Tasmania continued to show the weakest economic performance in 2010–11. Tasmania had the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest labour force participation rate. Wages were the lowest of any state or territory, despite there being good growth in recent years. Tasmania continued to show the lowest Gross State Product per capita.
Tasmania was the only state to record a decrease in retail sales in 2010–11, and sales of new motor vehicles dropped more than any other state or territory. House sale prices, rents and home loan size were amongst the lowest in the country. The Tasmanian state government raised the lowest amount of taxation revenue per capita.
Western Australia stood out amongst the states as having the highest annual employment growth, as well as the lowest unemployment rate, lowest long term unemployment rate and lowest youth unemployment rate. Average weekly earnings in Western Australia were 10 per cent higher than the next highest state (New South Wales) as a result of high demand and lack of supply of workers in the mining industry.
Western Australia’s Gross State Product (GSP) has shown the highest level of growth in the last two years and so it continues to maintain the highest level of GSP per capita of any state. The Western Australian government has minimal debt and the best fiscal balance of any state or territory. It raised only fractionally less tax revenue per capita than the highest state (New South Wales).
Western Australia also stands out as have a high level of international merchandise exports, being responsible for 46 per cent of all of Australia’s international merchandise exports in 2010–11.
Long-term data series for every table that appears in this paper are available electronically and can be found at:
The Parliamentary; Library’s companion publication: Monthly statistical bulletin can be found at:
The long-term series for the companion publication Monthly statistical bulletin can be found at:
Note: The above links can only be accessed by senators, members and parliamentary staff.
Adult Employees. Adult employees are those employees 21 years of age or over and those employees who, although under 21 years of age, are paid at the full adult rate for their occupation.
Apparent school retention rate. The number of full-time school students in a designated level/year of education expressed as a percentage of their respective cohort group (which is either at the commencement of their secondary schooling or Year 10).
Average weekly earnings. Average gross (before tax) earnings of employees. Care should be taken when comparing average weekly earnings between states over time. This is due to compositional effects introduced by variations over time in the proportions of full-time, part-time, casual and junior employees; variations in the occupational distribution within and across industries; variations in the distribution of employment between industries; and variations in the proportion of male and female employees.
Average weekly ordinary time earnings. Weekly earnings attributed to award, standard or agreed hours of work for full-time adult employees.
Bankruptcies. Bankruptcies and Administration Orders under Parts IV and XI of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
Business investment. Private gross fixed capital formation for machinery and equipment; non-dwelling construction; livestock; and intangible fixed assets.
Consumer price index. A measure of change in the price of a basket of goods and services from a base period. Changes in the consumer price index are the most commonly used measures of inflation.
Dependency ratio. Ratio of the economically inactive to economically active populations. Shows the number of children aged 0–14 years and persons aged 65 years and over per 100 persons aged 15–64 years.
Employees. Employees refer to all wage and salary earners who received pay for any part of the reference period.
Employed persons. Persons aged 15 years and over who, during a period of one week, worked for one hour or more for pay or worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a family farm.
Full-time employees. Full-time employees are permanent, temporary and casual employees who normally work the agreed or award hours for a full-time employee in their occupation and received pay for any part of the reference period. If agreed or award hours do not apply, employees are regarded as full-time if they ordinarily work 35 hours or more per week.
General government sector. Government departments and other entities that provide largely non-market public services and are funded mainly through taxes and other compulsory levies.
General government sector net debt. Selected liabilities (deposits held plus proceeds from advances plus borrowing) minus selected assets (cash and deposits plus investments plus advances outstanding) of the general government sector.
General government sector fiscal balance. The financing requirement of the general government sector. A positive sign, or fiscal surplus, indicates a net lending position; a negative sign, or fiscal deficit, indicates a net borrowing position.
General practice bulk billing rate. The percentage of general practitioner attendances (excluding practice nurse) that are bulk billed.
Gross domestic product. The total market value of goods and services produced within Australia, after deducting the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production but before deducting for depreciation.
Gross state product. Equivalent to gross domestic product except that it refers to production within a state or territory rather than to the nation as a whole.
Gross state product—chain volume measures. Also known as real gross state product, this is a measure used to indicate change in the actual quantity of goods and services produced within a state or territory.
Gross state product per capita. The ratio of the chain volume measure of gross state product to an estimate of the resident state population.
Labour force. The employed plus the unemployed.
Labour force participation rate. The number of persons in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the civilian population aged 15 years and over.
Labour productivity. Gross state product (chain volume measures) per hour worked in all sectors (i.e. market and non-market sectors).
Long-term unemployed. Persons unemployed for a period of 52 weeks or more.
Male total average weekly earnings. Weekly ordinary time earnings plus weekly overtime earnings of all male employees. This measure of earnings is used in the process of benchmarking pensions.
Private health insurance hospital coverage rate. The percentage of the total population that has private health insurance hospital coverage.
Real average weekly earnings. Average weekly earnings adjusted for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Re-exports. To export imported goods or services.
Total fertility rate. The average number of children that females will bear during their lifetime.
Turnover. Includes retail sales; wholesale sales; takings from repairs, meals and hiring of goods; commissions from agency activity; and net takings from gaming machines. Turnover includes the Goods and Services Tax.
Unemployed persons. Persons aged 15 years and over who, during a period of one week, were not employed but had actively looked for work in the previous four weeks and were available to start work.
Unemployment rate. The number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force.
Wage price index. A measure of change in the price of labour (i.e. wages and salaries) unaffected by changes in the quality or quantity of work performed.
Youth unemployment. Number of 15–19 year olds looking for full-time work.
Youth unemployment rate. Number of 15–19 year olds looking for full-time work expressed as a percentage of the full-time labour force of the same age group.
. Address to The Economist's Bellwether Series: Australia, Ric Battellino, Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of Australia, Sydney – 23 August 2011.
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